Saturday, August 17, 2013

It's A Rodeo Clown, People, And Clowns Too Have Rights


You'd think by the policies they promote and the candidates they support that progressives would have a better sense of humor.

Rodeo clowns have been making fun of presidents for decades. Has everyone forgotten the incident at a Philadelphia rodeo in 1994, where a clown used a dummy with a George H.W. Bush mask to taunt a bull that subsequently impaled the dummy and sent the mask flying? No one was fired.

But now, the screaming has begun from the progressive lynch mob over a rodeo clown in Missouri doing the same thing wearing an Obama mask. These incidents may be in bad taste, but it's what freedom entails.
People, he is a rodeo clown. C-L-O-W-N.

The right to criticize our government and the right to do and say dumb things are part of the individual freedoms preserved by our Constitution and endowed by our creator.

Benjamin Franklin once said, "Whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must begin by subduing the freeness of speech."

Similarly, George Washington once wrote, "If freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter."

There was no clamor from progressives to fire anyone when a George W. Bush mask appeared on an impaled head clearly shown in a scene from the "Game of Thrones" on HBO.

There are far more important issues out there: The ObamaCare train wreck, a resurgent al-Qaida, increased global instability, the rise of Islamic extremism, the birth of a nuclear Iran, a jobless recovery, only 47% of the employed having full-time jobs, 47 million Americans in poverty, a $16.7 trillion deficit, the worst recovery in U.S. history, Bill Maher, Al Sharpton and Chris Matthews all getting paid to be on television, people actually watching "The View" ...
Does the rodeo clown incident really deserve this much attention? Probably not. It probably would have been enough to paint ObamaCare on the side of any bull.

But then, that would be less like satire and more like the truth. And believe me, after seeing your new health insurance premiums, there'll be nothing funny about that.

Problem is, you can't saddle up a bait and switch. Progressives and the mainstream media would rather focus on anything but the dismal record or the "phony" scandals of this administration. They'll use any incident to solicit sympathy for this administration and to distract us from its failed policies.

And personal invective is never enough. Someone always has to lose his or her job — unless, of course, he or she is a fellow progressive or a government worker. Then you're violating their constitutional rights. That's an essential part of the progressive code of intolerance.

It all makes you wonder: Who really are the clowns here?

Ramirez is an IBD's editorial cartoonist and senior editor  IBD

I like the idea of a bull named Obamacare.  Just like this clown fiasco, its all bullshit.  Ramirez likes it too, as his cartoon shows:

Now there after the bull too...

Interior Dept. says Keystone XL could harm parks, wildlife

The Interior Department said the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline could have a negative impact on natural resources, wildlife and national parks. Interior said Keystone builder TransCanada Corp. must better assess the Canada-to-Texas pipeline’s impact on noise and lighting. “Scientific studies demonstrate that light pollution and noise can adversely affect natural and cultural resources, wildlife, and visitor experiences,” Willie R. Taylor, director of Interior’s office of environmental policy, said in a comment posted this week on the State Department’s website. The April 29 comment was one of the 1.2 million Foggy Bottom is reviewing regarding its Keystone draft environmental impact statement. The department is reviewing the pipeline because TransCanada needs a cross-border permit to finish the northern leg.
Interior’s comment focused on the impact Keystone would have on national parks and public lands the department oversees...more

Friday, August 16, 2013

Limbaugh: Liberal Response To Obama Clown Akin To Muslim Response To Cartoons

Listen to it or read the transcript.  I recommend you listen to get the full effect.

RUSH LIMBAUGH: This Missouri clown situation is so out of hand and out of proportion, and I'm gonna tell you what this is like, and I'm not gonna pull any punches. This is no different than those countries reacting freakishly when there were cartoons of the prophet Mohammed. That is exactly what this is. It is as though President Obama is a messiah or is a god and this little thing that happened at the Missouri State Fair is a defamation, a denunciation, almost a religious sacrilege that took place. 

He's the president of the United States! They get made fun of! They get laughed at all the time! Fun is poked at 'em. I know this happens to be the first African-American one, but that should not insulate this president from standard, ordinary, everyday treatment, analysis, whatever. You know, you people on the left, who the hell do you think you are? You can't laugh. You can't take a joke. You can't take a punch. You can't take anything. One little thing that you don't like and this clown can never work, everybody involved is resigning, the state of Missouri might secede from the union. I mean, where's this gonna end? Well, I'm joking about the state of Missouri seceding, bit I wouldn't be surprised if that was the next thing. 

If I were the president of the United States and this was happening in the country that I was president, I would put a stop to this. This is infantile. This is childish. This is worse than political correctness. It's almost as though the president of the United States is a religious leader. What took place at the Missouri State Fair was with a clown. I mean, it wasn't as though some serious journalist or political analyst went out there in an Obama mask. It wasn't like a Democrat doing a minstrel show, like good old Mel Carnahan did back in 1960 in Missouri. 

I mean, this is over the top. And the way people are caving on this in Missouri, instead of standing up and pointing out this for what it is. This wasn't a sacrilege; it's a joke, for crying out loud. And presidents are laughed at, and they're poked fun of. Ask George W. Bush. Ask Ronald Reagan. Ask George H. W. Bush. Ask Clinton, for crying out loud. 

This burns me. This is outrageous. This is no different than what happened in all those countries that had the cartoons of the prophet and militant Muslims had a cow over it, went nuts. It's exactly what's happening here. What do we have, a president of the United States who is above all this? We have a president who's above criticism, above being mocked, above being laughed at? We have not just a president, we have an entire Democrat political party and the American left which thinks that they are so damn special that they cannot be mocked, they cannot be made fun of.

Send in the Obama Clowns

A powerful column by Daniel Greenfield for FrontPage Mag.  Here are some excerpts:

...The Missouri State Fair apologized and banned the unnamed rodeo clown for life and announced that they are reviewing their contract with the Missouri Rodeo Cowboys Association. Their next contract will hopefully have an ironclad “No Mocking Obama” clause in place to prevent another tragedy from taking place.

The announcer has resigned as president of the Cowboys Association, even though he had yet to be caught smuggling assault rifles to Mexican drug dealers or lying about a terrorist attack on an American diplomatic facility, and may also be forced to resign as Superintendent of the Boonville School District...

The Kansas City Star described the bull run as “borderline illegal”. “The U.S. Secret Service takes threats against the president seriously,” its editorial said. “While the president himself was in no danger here, it’s the kind of stupid activity that could give nuts ideas about harming the president.”

It’s comforting to learn that Obama experienced no personal danger from the rodeo clown. Even the most creative Hollywood villain would find his imagination stressed to the limit trying to recreate the Missouri State Fair as an assassination plot.

But the Star’s Yael T. Abouhalkah is right to remain vigilant against the threat of someone smuggling an angry bull on board Air Force One during its next jaunt to Martha’s Vineyard or hurling a furious Red Angus from a catapult into the White House...

 The unknown rodeo clown, like so many court jesters throughout the ages, was expressing the very subversive sentiment that the only difference between the clown and the crown is that the former knows what he is and the latter doesn’t...

But what can’t be seen on the stage of Saturday Night Live must go underground to the Missouri State Fair. In every totalitarian country, the jokes that can’t be told are told anyway in secret places, between friends and to rural and working class audiences. The Soviet anecdote was born out of such restrictions.

“Premier Andropov,” one anecdote went, “I heard you collect political anecdotes. How many do you have so far?”

“A whole Gulag,” was the answer. An eagle-eyed Daily Kossack with a camera has added one rodeo clown and one cowboy president to the Obama gulag.

Now they are after the bull

After 11 years, U.S. Fire Program Analysis system still isn't ready

Eleven years ago, federal agencies announced a bold strategy to battle the growing threat of catastrophic wildfires. Across the West, vast expanses of forests had grown dangerously thick from decades of all-out fire suppression. At their edges, an army of urban refugees bored deeper and deeper into the woods, building dream homes in the trees. The government's planned response: a sophisticated new computer system — called Fire Program Analysis, or FPA — that would enable firefighting agencies to coordinate their efforts and maximize their resources. It would help them weigh the benefits of fire suppression versus forest thinning, evaluate where to station people and equipment and decide how many planes to buy. It would be up and running by 2007, a powerful new tool in the yearly battle to save homes from the flames. In 2012 — while tens of thousands of Colorado residents have fled their homes from an alarming eruption of June wildfires — the program is still incomplete. Federal agencies, led by the U.S. Forest Service, are still working on it. A peer review of the latest prototype called it the only alternative "to reduce risk and control costs at the national level" — but concluded it isn't ready to use as intended. And the former team leader on the project said it is a shadow of what it was supposed to be, the victim of forces opposed to a process that would take decisions about where to put resources out of their hands.

Forest service drops prosecution of kiddie picnic after Murkowski intervenes

After getting blasted by a U.S. senator for heavy-handedness, the U.S. Forest Service has backed down after one of its cops issued a Southeast Alaska daycare provider a $350 fine for taking a batch of children to the Tongass National Forest for a picnic. In what could go down as another example of tyranny in a state that bristles at federal intervention, the officer, Doug Ault, claimed Auntie's Day Care needed a commercial permit for the playtime lunch involving six children. That's according to Marilyn Mork, the "auntie" and owner of the Wrangell daycare. She said the picnic in June was an impromptu decision when the weather turned out to be sunny, and all she and the kids did was eat at a picnic table, play a bit and sit in a boat tied to a dock for photos. Several weeks later, Ault showed up at her door on a Sunday and asked if she'd visited the park. After she told him all about the visit with the kids, ranging in ages from 3 to 8, he ticketed her. As she understood the regulation, she's supposed to have a permit if she's making money on activities at the park. But she wasn't. "I can understand if I'm a taxi cab giving a tour in the park, but I just took children there to play and learn. It's not like I charged the kids' parents a fee to go there," said Mork, 48 and a grandmother of eight. Mork said she occasionally takes her wee charges there. What's wrong with that, she wondered? Apparently nothing, since the ticket was dropped, something she learned when a Forest Service law officer called her on Thursday and said the ticket was on his desk and going nowhere...more

Udall, Army Announce Steps Toward Withdrawal of Pinon Canyon Maneuver Site Waiver

Mark Udall, who serves on the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, and Assistant Secretary of the Army Katherine Hammack announced today that the U.S. Army has no plans, no funding, and no Congressional authority to expand its footprint at the Pinon Canyon Maneuver Site. In a victory for southern Colorado ranchers and residents, Assistant Secretary Hammack also announced that the Army would be taking steps to evaluate Fort Carson's training requirements — a necessary step to withdrawing the land-acquisition waiver that has been a source of serious concern to ranchers for years. The announcement came after Udall, Hammack and southern Colorado leaders, including Otero County Commissioners Kevin Karney and Jim Baldwin and all three members of the Las Animas County Commission, met in Pueblo. Under the plan laid out today, the U.S. Army has agreed to re-evaluate the training acreage requirement for the Pinon Canyon Maneuver Site and work toward withdrawing its land-acquisition waiver in light of recent personnel reductions at Fort Carson. Udall has been a strong advocate for soldiers and residents of southern Colorado and has fought to secure assurances from the Army that it will not expand the Pinon Canyon Maneuver Site. Udall also is supporting an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act that makes it clear the U.S. Army cannot expand the site without specific approval by Congress and a thorough environmental study...more

WA Supreme Court Says Ranch Must Fence-In Creek

Can regulators make a rancher fence-in his land? The Washington Supreme Court said yes. The case pitted rancher against environmentalists, with land rights and pollution enforcement at stake. Pataha Creek winds through Joe Lemire’s ranch in southeastern Washington. His 29 head of cattle regularly cross the creek to reach several pastures. Department of Ecology inspectors say trampled stream beds and cattle manure degrade water quality in this already unhealthy creek. Lemire refused to fence the creek and sued the department. Now, in an 8-1 decision the Washington Supreme Court has ruled in favor of the state, saying it can regulate runoff pollution. Kelly Susewind is with the department. Lemire says a fence around Pataha Creek would devastate his land and his business. He says he’s reviewing his options...more

Sheep industry faces vanishing shepherd problem

Capital Press
BOISE -- The western sheep ranchers say a growing number of sheepherders are leaving for better jobs without notifying their employer they are quitting.
Sheep ranchers say the problem is critical and they hope any immigration reform effort addresses the issue.
"We're hoping they find a solution," said Boise area sheep rancher Frank Shirts. "If they don't, the western sheep industry is over."
Shirts has had three shepherds who were watching his sheep sneak away without notifying him over the past year. One left during lambing season.
"One morning, they were just gone," he said. "It cost me a lot of money this year and last year."
Most shepherds in the West come from Peru or other South American countries under the H-2A guest worker program.
But an increasing number of them, enticed by higher-paying jobs, are abandoning their duties without telling their employer, Idaho Wool Growers Association Executive Director Stan Boyd told lawmakers this spring.
"We're paying their way in here, then they're just leaving us," Shirts said.
Legislators refused to pass a bill backed by the IWGA that would have made it a misdemeanor for shepherds to abandon their duties without notifying their employer they were quitting.
Boyd said the industry wasn't trying to criminalize the act of quitting, it just wants ranchers to be notified that the person watching their sheep in remote locations is quitting.
Ranchers spend about $2,500 per sheepherder to bring them here, said Weiser area rancher and IWGA President Harry Soulen.
The workers sign three-year contracts to work for a rancher but for many of them, it's just their ticket to get into the country and then find higher paying jobs in other industries.

AQHA Cloning Lawsuit Update

On August 12, the parties appeared for a hearing before Judge Mary Lou Robinson for the purpose of arguing on the issues of the plaintiffs’ claims for attorney fees and for equitable relief in the form of an injunction requiring AQHA to register clones and their offspring. The plaintiffs have requested an award of nearly $900,000 in attorney fees and seek an injunction requiring the unconditional registration of clones and their offspring in the AQHA registry.

At the conclusion of the hearing, Judge Mary Lou Robinson announced that she was going to enter an injunction requiring AQHA to register clones and their offspring. She instructed the parties to confer and determine if any agreements concerning what rules would be necessary for this relief were needed, and instructed the parties to file any briefs on the subject no later than Wednesday August 14.

As for attorney fees, the Judge did not render any ruling. She further instructed the plaintiffs to produce all attorney fee billing statements by the end of the day and ordered that AQHA enter any briefs on the subject of plaintiffs’ requested award of attorney fees by August 14, 2013. Finally, the Judge ordered the plaintiffs to submit proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law by the August 14 deadline as well.

“As announced on August 1, and referenced in its August 9 Brief on Equitable Relief and Attorney Fees, AQHA will continue to take any and all necessary legal action in seeking to have the verdict of the jury and any judgment entered by the Court in favor of plaintiffs reversed,” said AQHA Executive Vice President Don Treadway. “AQHA will continue to fight for its members’ rights.”

It is expected that following the entry of a judgment in favor of plaintiffs AQHA will proceed with filing a Motion for Judgment as a Matter of Law in which AQHA will request the Court enter a take nothing judgment in favor of AQHA based upon the fact that the jury’s verdict was not supported by the evidence entered at trial. Such a motion is due no later than 28 days following the entry of a signed final judgment by the Court. Should the court not grant AQHA’s Motion for Judgment as a Matter of Law, then AQHA will file a notice of appeal thus beginning the appellate process. AQHA will continue to update its membership and directors with developments in the case.

As a matter of background, on July 28, a 10-person jury in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Amarillo Division, ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, Abraham & Veneklasen Joint Venture et al. in their antitrust suit against AQHA. The plaintiffs alleged that AQHA Rule REG106.1, which prohibits the registration of cloned horses and their offspring in AQHA’s breed registry, violates federal and state anti-trust laws. Although the jury found that AQHA violated antitrust laws, it awarded no damages to the plaintiffs despite the plaintiffs demand for $5.7 million dollars in damages at trial.

Residents gather for annual Field day

Tom Sidwell speaking 
Whether, like Bob Carr, they came to learn about treated wastewater and irrigation, or, like rancher Tom Sidwell, they came for the camaraderie, about 100 area residents gathered for the annual Field Day at the New Mexico State University Agricultural Science Center in Tucumcari. New Mexico Secretary of Agriculture Jeff Witte defended farmers and ranchers against charges they waste water as the event’s main speaker. In his talk, Witte noted that local farmers who were paying for allocations of three acre-feet of water this year were actually getting no water. A water right, he said, does not equate to wet water these days. Meanwhile, in urban areas, he said, per capita water use has been measured at about 185 gallons a day. Since there is no water right imposed on an urban dweller, he said, the city resident can “take seven showers a day” without worrying about exceeding limits. Farmers, he said, are not the ones wasting water. Consumers are. A glass of beer, he said, requires 75 gallons of water to make. A gallon of milk requires the use of 250 gallons of water. Processing beef, he said, requires about 4,000 gallons of water per pound. When the same three acre feet that a farm is allocated is the same amount as is used by only a dozen urban households in a year, the farmer gets blamed for wasting water. Urban households use that water “without adding nutrients” in return, Witte said. He also pointed out that farmers have increased yields per acre on all crops over the past 100 years by five to 10 times, which also means each gallon of water is going further in production. On one hayride stop, Tom Sidwell, a Quay County rancher, and Tom Dominguez, the Quay County Agricultural Extension agent, talked about efforts to avoid having the Lesser Prairie Chicken, a field grouse species, listed as threatened or endangered under the federal Environmental Protection Act. The campaign to prevent the listing has involved agricultural specialists, farmers and ranchers, and state, county and federal officials. The effort has persuaded the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to delay a decision on the listing...more

BACK IN TIME: Rancher Halff organized polo team in early 20th century

MIDLAND Cowboys and polo go together, well, like … cowboys and polo. So it is not surprising that polo has been played in Midland almost as long as the community has been here. An early-day Midland newspaper article carried a brief note indicating that Henry M. Halff had sent a load of polo ponies to a buyer. A prominent rancher and landowner who sold off vast amounts of ranchland south of Midland during the 1920s, Halff may have been the person primarily responsible for polo being played here so early during the century. In a book published in 1984 by Betty Halff Llewellyn, the author noted that her father, Henry Halff, organized a polo team in Midland during the early years of the 20th century after moving to the small cowtown and taking over operation of ranches that had been established by his father, Mayer Halff. The younger Halff had been born in San Antonio on Aug. 17, 1874. Halff’s efforts to raise polo ponies were substantiated by an article that appeared in the San Angelo Standard-Times Aug. 29, 1954, more than two decades following Halff’s death. That article stated: “The ponies were raised on the Halff Polo Farm near Midland. Water on this farm was mineral water, which he bottled and sold as ‘Polo Water.’” The article also noted that “Importing race horses to breed with native Quarter Horses, the West Texas booster believed that Western horses would make good polo ponies. To prove this, he organized a polo team that played all over the United States and in international matches. Possum, a gray mare, was the most famous of these horses. A similar polo team was organized for women but did not go over so well.” Halff, who was a prominent landowner in West Texas, began breaking up his well-known Quien Sabe Ranch in the second decade of the 20th century and selling off parcels of land for farms and ranches...more

Ranch Radio Song Of The Day #1078

Freddie Hart - The Wall  From his 1962 LP album The Spirited Freddie Hart.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Congressman invites Obama mask-wearing rodeo clown to Texas

A rodeo clown, banned from Missouri State Fairs for life for wearing an Obama mask during a show, might just have the chance to perform again. Rep. Steve Stockman, a Texas Republican, invited the rodeo clown to perform in his state. “I’m sure any rodeo in Texas would be proud to have performers,” he said in a statement. “Liberals want to bronco bust dissent. But Texans value speech, even if its speech they don’t agree with,” wrote Stockman. “Disagreeing with speech is one thing. Banning it and ordering citizens into reeducation classes for mocking a liberal leader is another,” he continued. “Liberals have targeted this man for personal destruction to create a climate of fear.” “The liberal reaction is straight out of Alinsky.  They want to crush dissent by isolating and polarizing anyone who questions Obama, even if it’s a rodeo clown with a harmless gag,” he said. “The idea to create a state of fear and make people afraid to trivialize Obama.  No one tried to personally destroy the rodeo clown who wore a George H.W. Bush mask.” Stockman is not the first to lend his support to the rodeo clown: Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan argued that it would be “classy” if the President defended the clown.

Jillian Rayfield @ Salon

Rancher Bundy files for appeal in land dispute

Cliven Bundy has filed an appeal in an attempt to stave off the seizure of his cattle by the Bureau of Land Management, which is scheduled for Aug. 23 based on an order issued by Nevada District Judge Lloyd D. George on July 9. The appeal is the latest in a nearly two-decade-old battle between the rancher and federal government regarding grazing rights. The ruling is actually an extension of the original 1998 action in which Bundy was “permanently enjoined from grazing his livestock within a different area, the Bunkerville Allotment, and ordered Bundy to remove his livestock from the Allotment before November 30, 1998.” Also, in May 2012, another complaint was filed in which Bundy was allegedly found to be grazing his livestock without authorization on land owned by the United States, administered by the secretary of the Interior, BLM and the National Parks Service. The action included more area because Bundy’s animals allegedly had drifted even further into an area that includes some of the Gold Butte around Lake Mead National Recreation area and the Overton Arm, otherwise known as “New Trespass land,” according to court papers. Allegations also include Bundy’s livestock “cause damage to natural and cultural resources and pose a threat to public safety.” The threat to the endangered desert tortoise that resides in Gold Butte and other areas is part of the “damage,” according to documents. “I am not done fighting by any means,” Bundy said. If his appeal is not accepted, or a stay isn’t granted, Bundy said he will just “keep on ranching, like I’ve always done.” The Bundy Ranch, he said, extends north to south from the Lincoln County line — or the Mormon Mountains — to the Gold Butte area known as Whitney Pockets and from east to west from Bunkerville to Lake Mead, he said. His argument is that he grazes his cattle on Nevada and Clark County land in accordance to Nevada law, and that the federal government has no jurisdiction over the state lands. “Are we a state or a territory in the United States?”. George’s ruling is that “the public lands in Nevada are the property of the United States because the United States has held title to those public lands since 1848, when Mexico ceded the land to the United States,” according to court documents. “I can’t believe a federal judge wouldn’t recognize the sovereign right of the state of Nevada,” he said...more

Agency stumped by taking of threatened sea bird’s habitat

Two federal agencies are at loggerheads over a decision to remove five old-growth trees from the habitat that supports a threatened sea bird during breeding season. The U.S. Forest Service cut the massive trees — one was 238-feet tall — in late April at the Sunshine Bar Campground near Port Orford in southwest Oregon. The threatened marbled murrelet nests in the campground, though it’s unknown if any were in the trees at the time they fell. The agency generally must get a permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to take a tree during the breeding season. But Fish and Wildlife did not know the trees were gone until getting a tip in late July. “We’re still trying to figure out the rationale," said Jim Thrailkill, a field supervisor for the Fish and Wildlife Service. Forest Service officials declined phone interviews this week. In written responses Friday, the agency said the trees were located near a campsite and at high risk of losing limbs or falling. Of the five hazard trees that were removed, the Forest Service said, one was completely dead and the other four had dead tops. “Because of its design and layout, it would have been difficult to close the campground to the public, so waiting to remove hazard trees would have put the public at risk," the Forest Service wrote. As for why it did not get approval from Fish and Wildlife, the agency said guidelines written for hazard trees in the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest are not compatible with newer, regional Forest Service rules regarding hazard trees in campgrounds. It said it is now “working closely" with Fish and Wildlife to address the issue...more

Could the U.S. fight forest fires with software?

For years, the Forest Service has struggled to keep up with a backlog of thinning and prescriptive burn projects that would reduce the chances of large, highly destructive and dangerous fires across the increasingly arid West, where climate change is only exacerbating the problem. A big part of the problem is financial. Forest Service chief Tom Tidwell says fire suppression claimsnearly half of the agency’s yearly budget. Each year, however, more resources are dedicated to fighting fires, and fewer are put toward preventing them. It feels like a losing battle. But a pilot project made possible by a collaboration between TNC, the Forest Service’s Technology and Development arm and two Arizona timber companies is testing whether technology can help turn this tide. “The largest contiguous Ponderosa Pine forest in the world extends from northern Arizona to central New Mexico, and we’ve lost a quarter of that, a million acres, to fire in the past decade,” says Pat Graham, Arizona state director for TNC. “We’re looking for a solution that can scale to the size of the problem. We’re no longer able to use small ideas.” Currently, Forest Service employees hike through these pine forests and manually mark trees that should remain, so logging companies know which they can take. The goal is to remove small-diameter trees and allow space between larger pines. With the TimberGuide software, which runs on a tablet computer mounted inside a wood harvester, a prescriptive thinning plan can be uploaded and used to guide harvester operators through the cutting process without anyone having to manually mark trees. This translates into more thinned forests, less labor and likely more profits for timber companies...more

Much less common than they once were, fire lookouts brave isolation to keep forests safe

Ray Brown knows each of the 80 steps that wind in a corkscrew up the 60-foot tower of the Strawberry Butte Lookout. In 2011, he manned the tower full time. “This was my home,” Brown said. “I love it up here.” While working as the fire lookout at Strawberry Butte, Brown lived in the 20-foot-by-12-foot one-room cabin that sits at the base of the lookout tower. The cabin contains a bunk bed, a few shelves, a fridge and a two-burner stove. Everything runs on propane. “This is literally living, dining and sleeping,” Brown said. Brown’s commute every morning involved climbing the 80 steps that lead up the tower to the 8-foot-by-8-foot lookout at the top. The lookout, on all four sides, is covered in windows, divided into small square panes. Inside, a vintage fire finder takes up most of the small space. Although it dates back to the early 1940s, the fire finder is still used to pinpoint the location of a blaze. “This is the heart of a lookout,” Brown said. “It’s a really exact way to find fires.” The fire finder is round, about 14 inches in diameter. The 360 degrees of a compass are marked around its circular base with a map sitting on top. Cross hairs made of horse hair and a slit to look through stick up from the device...more

Christo asks judge to shred ‘Rags’ suit

Artist Christo and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management are reasserting their defense of his Arkansas River art project against a lawsuit filed by a group opposed to it. The artist and BLM, in court filings this week, contend a judge should not allow the lawsuit by the group Rags Over the Arkansas River Inc., known as ROAR, to stop the planned project. The group sued last year in U.S. District Court to block the project, which would consist of hanging 5.9 miles of luminous fabric above the river in eight sections along 42 miles between Canon City and Salida. In the filings, BLM asked Senior Judge John Kane to dismiss the lawsuit and Christo’s Over the River Corp. asked for Kane to enter judgment in favor of the company. Either request, if granted, essentially would produce the same result of throwing out the lawsuit. BLM and Christo’s filings deny many of ROAR’s allegations. Source

Former USCG Vice Admiral Brian Salerno Named Director of BSEE

Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell named former Vice Admiral Brian Salerno as the Director of the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), which provides federal oversight for oil and gas operations on the Outer Continental Shelf. Salerno, who retired from the U.S. Coast Guard last year as its Deputy Commandant for Operations, will assume his new position on August 26. "Brian Salerno is an accomplished professional who brings proven expertise in maritime safety and emergency response management to the job," said Jewell. "As we continue to strengthen the nation's program to ensure safe and responsible offshore oil and gas exploration and development, I believe Brian has the experience, vision, and the leadership to be a great asset to the Bureau, the Department and the nation." Salerno will serve as the third director in BSEE's history, following the departure of Jim Watson at the end of the month...more

Iowa plant drops horse-slaughter plan; Roswell plant 'prepared to stay the course'

An Iowa company is dropping plans to slaughter horses in the wake of a federal judge's ruling that temporarily banned the practice as part of a lawsuit filed by animal welfare groups, a company executive said Tuesday. Responsible Transportation, which owns a slaughterhouse in Sigourney, Iowa, was among two companies that had secured federal permits for horse slaughter. But the Iowa company's president, Keaton Walker, told The Associated Press that his firm cannot afford to wait for more court deliberations and was turning its focus to cattle. "We just can't sit with our heads down," Walker said. "We have to get back to work. Our main focus now is going to be beef." The other company with a federal permit, Valley Meat Co. of Roswell, was "still prepared to stay the course," company attorney Blain Dunn said. Valley Meat has been at the fore of the fight, pushing for more than a year for permission to convert its cattle plant into a horse slaughterhouse. Supporters of the domestic horse slaughter note that the practice is already occurring. They argue that horse slaughter in federally regulated facilities is better than having the animals starve or shipped to inhumane facilities in Mexico. Horse abuse and abandonment cases have increased since the slaughtering of horses was banned in 2006, and many owners in the West and Great Plains were left with fewer options to care for or euthanize their animals, according to a 2011 report from the federal Government Accountability Office. Valley Meat Co. owner Rick De Los Santos said he could understand why the Iowa company made the decision. But, he added: "We are going to see this deal all the way through."...more

NM county considering prairie dog relocation ban

A population of Clovis prairie dogs burrowing holes across two public parks and the city’s Civic Center are likely unaware of their current predicament. The city’s recent denial of a request from Texas-based Citizens for Prairie Dogs to relocate them to Chaves County may have left the critters without asylum, said their local advocate. “It’s kind of a desperate situation for these little guys,” said Susan Hubby, of Clovis, as she spent Tuesday evening hand feeding some with fruits and veggies. Curry County has banned the transportation or importation of prairie dogs, and Chaves County is considering prohibiting the importation and relocation of them this week. Chaves County Commissioners will hold a public hearing at 9 a.m. Thursday at the County Chambers on the proposal for prairie dogs, feral hogs and other rodents. Source

Pie Lady of Pie Town - the Second Slice - video

The film is almost ready to come out of the oven, thanks to contributions from the first fundraising campaign for Pie Lady of Pie Town. We raised two thirds of our goal, which is allowing us to do justice to Kathy's story and capture the charming essence of Pie Town itself. Postproduction costs are rising and we need more "dough" to complete this project. If you have already contributed and can throw in a few more bucks, I will make sure that you receive whatever perks are merited for the total amount. If you have contributed and can't give anymore, I understand - all I ask is that you pass this on to everyone and anyone you know who loves independent film, pie, the Old West, or the sentiment that Pie = love. Remember, we personally make nothing from this fundraiser. Money raised pays for the cameramen, editor, sound and music production, equipment rental, duplication, film festival fees, licensing and legal fees, website maintenance, promotional costs, etc. - it all adds up quickly. Without your help we simply cannot complete this film. Donation perks vary and include a Pie-O-Neer mug, digital download/hard copy of the film, and screen credits from "Thank You" to "Executive Producer." You could even be flown into Albuquerque from anywhere in the continental USA, driven to Pie Town by the producers (Dick and me), hang out at the Pie-O-Neer pie shop with the Pie Lady and her pies (your first slice is on us!) AND have a pie named afer you. Now that's something you can sink your teeth into!...more

Here's the trailer:

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Palin hung in effigy, Bush beheaded on tv, Bush dummy destroyed by bull, that's ok...but no rodeo clowns w/Obama mask

Sarah Palin effigy hung in Halloween display An effigy of U.S. Republican vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin hanging by a noose as part of a Halloween display drew complaints on Monday, but local officials said the homeowner was covered by free speech rights. A mannequin dressed to resemble the Alaska governor, with her trademark beehive hairdo and glasses, was hung by the neck from the eaves of the home in famously liberal West Hollywood. On the roof, a mannequin of Republican presidential candidate John McCain, protruded from the chimney surrounded in flames, holding his head as he was apparently burned alive...

 Game of Thrones Creators Used George W. Bush Mask as Gory Prop During the HBO hit's season one finale, a row of decapitated heads are displayed as a warning to potential traitors. In the lineup? Two deceased characters, Ned Stark and Septa Mordane, although one sticks out above the rest -- a head that looks remarkably like that of the 43rd President of the United States, George W. Bush. On the show's DVD commentary, show creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss point out the gory accessory. "People may not have noticed this but back up. . . the last head on the left is George Bush," one of the creators explains in a voiceover, adding that, "George Bush's head appears in a couple of beheading scenes."...

Then, of course, there was all the BushHitler stuff.

And yes, there was even a Bush mask and a rodeo bull, from this 1994article

 The big white bull with black spots and the foot-long horns came slamming out, looking big as a pickup truck, and Skimmer Walker, his feet spread, his hands out to the side, crouched to make a move. Jalapeno dispatched his rider before the mandatory eight seconds. Now he stood tall, his head up, looking for something to charge. T.J. Hawkins rolled out the big inner tube, and the bull lowered his head, shot forward and launched into the tube, sending it bounding down the center of the arena. The crowd cheered. Then the bull saw the George Bush dummy. He tore into it, sending the rubber mask flying halfway across the sand as he turned toward the fence, sending cowboys scrambling up the fence rails, hooking one with his horn and tossing him off the fence...

There does seem to be a slight double standard!  While this is about a rodeo clown and Obama, its part of a much bigger attack on free speech by the left

Hat tip to Dana Loesch@DLoesch who's been tweetin' away on this issue.

NAACP: Obama Clown Stunt Warrants Investigation by Secret Service, DOJ

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) issued a statement Tuesday in response to the Obama rodeo clown stunt at the Missouri State Fair. "The activities at the Missouri State Fair targeting and inciting violence against our President are serious and warrant a full review by both the Secret Service and the Justice Department," says NAACP State President Mary Ratliff, who lives in Columbia...more  

And there is this about announcer Mark Ficken, who is also the Superintendent of a school district:

 Late Monday, rodeo announcer Mark Ficken resigned as president of the Missouri Rodeo Cowboys Association. He also serves as superintendent of the Boonville School District, which has launched an investigation into the stunt last Saturday. Ficken's lawyer says Ficken stepped down because the association is still letting the clown remain a member. Lawyer Albert Watkins says Ficken resigned after a tough day of criticism and personal attacks that left him shaken. He says Ficken felt he was in the "cross hairs of virtually everybody for something he was not responsible for."

Announcer, Rodeo Assoc. President Resigns After State Fair Rodeo

There was further fallout Monday from a controversy sparked Saturday night when a rodeo clown wearing a mask of President Barack Obama was taunted in front of a cheering and jeering Missouri State Fair crowd.
First came word Monday morning that Mark Ficken, superintendent of the Boonville R-1 School District and an announcer at the event, had obtained legal counsel in hopes of clearing his name. Ficken became president of the Missouri Cowboy Rodeo Association Saturday morning, a post he resigned after just two days Monday...more

And again, as I've previously posted, there's rodeo's entanglement with government:

Much of the controversy has centered on the fair’s status as a publicly funded event which is generally void of overt political pandering. Estimates differ on how many taxpayer dollars go to the fair each year, ranging from a few hundred thousand dollars to as many as $5 million.  Much of the controversy has centered on the fair’s status as a publicly funded event which is generally void of overt political pandering. Estimates differ on how many taxpayer dollars go to the fair each year, ranging from a few hundred thousand dollars to as many as $5 million.

Interesting that all the tweeting & big mouth Mo. politicians don't even know how many dollars they have appropriated to the State Fair.

Surprise findings: Climate change causes Marin redwoods grow bigger

Surprise. Marin's majestic redwoods — and others around the state — are experiencing unprecedented growth due to warmer temperatures and sunnier skies brought on by climate change, according to a report released Wednesday by the Save the Redwoods League. "Sunlight, enough water and warm conditions is the perfect recipe to grow happy redwoods and that's what we are seeing," said Emily Burns, director of science for Save the Redwoods League and lead researcher of the report. In 2009, the league launched an effort to determine what impact climate change is having on the redwoods, which dot Marin and have been made famous at the Muir Woods National Monument where thousands

Secretary Jewell Underscores Importance of Landscape-Level Approach, Mitigation in Meeting Presidents Renewable Energy Goals on Public Lands

During a keynote address at the National Clean Energy Summit, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell today underscored the Interior Department's commitment to meeting President Barack Obama's clean energy goals by employing a landscape-level approach that addresses mitigation and conservation objectives. As part of President Obama's Climate Action Plan to reduce carbon pollution, move our economy toward clean energy sources and begin to slow the effects of climate change, the Interior Department is working to approve 20,000 megawatts of renewable energy production on public lands by 2020. In her remarks, Jewell cited the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP), as an example of landscape-level planning. This unprecedented state-federal collaborative effort, which covers over 20 million acres in California's Mojave and Colorado Deserts, will identify "development focus areas" for renewable energy while providing for the conservation and management of the unique and important plant and wildlife communities in this desert region. A draft of the DRECP is expected later this year. As part of the landscape-level approach, Secretary Jewell also announced that the Interior Department has approved the establishment of the West Chocolate Mountains Renewable Energy Evaluation Area (REEA) on public lands in California's Imperial Valley. This REEA will prioritize the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lands for the exploration and development of solar and geothermal energy...more

Proposed national monument could create jobs, cash

A new economic report issued by environmental consulting firm Downstream Strategies estimates a proposed national monument designation in east-central West Virginia could boost revenue and jobs in the region. According to the report, the proposed Birthplace of Rivers National Monument could support 143 jobs and bring a total of $5.2 million in economic activity to the region annually. Researchers estimate that there would be a 42% increase in visitation-related spending as a result of designation as well as an increase of more than $800,000 in local, state, and federal tax revenue, annually. The additional tourism dollars would support county libraries, hospitals, local parks, arts, and emergency services.   National monument designation is a special status bestowed upon federal lands—in this case, US Forest Service land—possessing unique natural, cultural, or historic features, established by either an act of Congress or by presidential proclamation. The Birthplace of Rivers monument would span the Cranberry Wilderness, the Highland Scenic Highway, Falls of Hills Creek and the headwaters of six rivers. The monument would be the only large wildlands national monument in the East, and the first national monument in West Virginia...more

Wow.  Just think how rich they'd be if they declared the whole state a National Monument.

Song Of The Day #1077

Every once in a while we come across a song that has the high intellectual caliber and poetic phrases demanded by the Crayola Cowboy.  Here's Dave Cottrell performing "If My Nose Was Running Money."

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

William Clark, defender of Reagan’s ‘sagebrush rebellion’

By William Perry Pendley

With the passing last week of William P. Clark came acknowledgments of his amazing accomplishments as President Reagan’s “top hand” in the White House, at the State Department, and as secretary of the Interior. Properly, much attention focuses on Mr. Clark’s role in formulating, developing and implementing Reagan’s plan regarding the Soviet Union (“We win, and they lose.”), which led to America’s victory in the Cold War.

What is not well known, however, is the degree to which Reagan was involved in energy, natural resources and environmental policy at the Interior Department, the reason Reagan selected Mr. Clark to replace James Watt when Mr. Watt resigned, and the importance Mr. Clark attributed to continuing Mr. Watt’s policies. In sum, analogous to Reagan’s plan to “transcend” communism, Reagan intended to transcend those partisan opponents he called “environmental extremists” and “modern-day Luddites.”

Reagan was the most knowledgeable president in history regarding energy, natural resources and environmental issues, given his experience as governor of California — half of which is owned by the federal government — and his years researching, writing and delivering radio addresses on those topics. During the 1980 presidential campaign, Reagan made clear his intention to develop the energy and minerals beneath the third of the country owned by the federal government and the billion acres off its shores. So insistent was Reagan that when Mr. Watt sought to back down regarding one controversial oil and gas lease in Wyoming, Reagan told him, “Jim, if you do not do it, who will? If not there, where will we drill?”

When Mr. Watt resigned as a result of what Reagan called “a 2-year lynching,” Reagan enlisted his top hand to take over at Interior. Those who believed in letting Reagan be Reagan were not surprised. Mr. Clark often called Mr. Watt at the president’s request after a nasty bit of media coverage to assure him he was on the right path. Environmental extremists knew nothing of this, but still they blasted Mr. Clark for his knowledge, intelligence and conservative views. After Mr. Clark’s confirmation, Reagan took to the radio praising Mr. Watt, promoting the Reagan record on the environment, and presenting Mr. Clark.

Mr. Clark did not disappoint.

Pendley is author of the recently released Sagebrush Rebel: Reagan's Battle with Environmental Extremists and Why It Matters Today

Mo. Fair Commission requires rodeo officials to have "sensitivity training"

The Missouri State Fair Commission unanimously approved the following motion at its regular morning scheduling meeting. 8/12/13

The Missouri State Fair Commission ratifies the firm action already taken by the Fair director to permanently ban this rodeo clown from ever participating or performing at the Missouri State Fair again.

Furthermore the MRCA must hold all those responsible for this offensive stunt accountable.

In addition, before the Missouri State Fair considers contracting with this association again for future rodeos, they must provide evidence to the director of the Missouri State Fair that they have proof that all officials and subcontractors of the MRCA have successfully participated in sensitivity training.

Press Release

Maybe tomorrow, but right now I'm speechless.

Gov. Mead will consider trade for Teton land

Gov. Matt Mead said Monday he hasn't seen a proposal of what lands the federal government will offer to swap for state holdings in Grand Teton National Park but doesn't want to wait years to resolve the issue. Speaking to reporters at a press conference in Sweetwater County, Mead said he talked last week with U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell when she was in Wyoming to tour the state-owned areas within Grand Teton. The federal government had agreed a few years ago to a four-phase, $107 million purchase of the nearly 1,300 acres of state-owned lands within the park. The federal government already has closed on the first phases, the purchase of minor state mineral rights in early 2012, followed late last year by the purchase of 86 acres of state land for $16 million. But federal officials now say they don't have the money to consummate the main transaction: the purchase of two state-owned sections for more than $40 million each. "It's clear to me that there is not going to be a cash deal," Mead said. "The federal government just doesn't have the money." Mead said Jewell assured him that the federal government is committed to acquiring the state parcels but would have to look at trading federal land elsewhere. "Conceptually, I'm open to that," he said. "But the devil's in the details."...more

PEER Applauds Determination On Potential Wupatki National Monument Wilderness, Calls For Additional Wilderness Reviews

A decision by National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis that there are wilderness quality lands in Wupatki National Monument has spurred a request that the Park Service review nine other parks where it has in the past concluded no such lands existed. Since 1971, the Park Service has identified 10 units where it didn't see any lands qualified for wilderness designation. Wupatki had been one of those 10 units, but Director Jarvis earlier this year signed off on a determination that almost all of the 35,422-acre monument was worthy of such designation. That recognition brought approval from Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, which often is critical of the Park Service...more

New Mexico lacks drought tools

While we city folk are doing fine, there’s a scrap under way up on the Rio Chama that illustrates the deeper problems. With water low in the Chama in northern New Mexico, it looked like state officials and local water managers had a deal earlier this year to share shortages, rotating allocations among the acequias that withdraw water from the river to water crops on the valley floor. The Chama was looking like a success story: water users coming together to figure out how to share during the bad times. That changed July 29 when David Ortiz, representing the Acequia de Chamita, filed a notice in federal court demanding a “priority call.” Under New Mexico law, the first water users on a river have the highest priority water rights. When things run short, they’re supposed to get water while later arrivals are cut off. And the Acequia de Chamita is among the oldest water rights you’ll find, with a legally certified priority date of 1600. Upstream from the Acequia de Chamita are water users who unquestionably came later. But the legal niceties to settle their priority dates and the amount they’re entitled to – the formal process known as “adjudication” – haven’t been completed. That means the state lacks the legal tools needed to curtail their use, and to make sure Ortiz and his fellow farmers, the folks with the senior rights, get their water. It’s a problem repeated all over the state. On the Pecos, Carlsbad farmers with senior rights are going dry this year while their lower-priority neighbors upstream have plenty of water. And in Albuquerque, I can’t help but point out that valley farms that faced shortages this year have been here a lot longer than Altura Park or Arroyo del Oso Golf Course. In other words, the legal mechanism established in the New Mexico Constitution for protecting water users’ property rights and allocating in times of shortage is dysfunctional. The New Mexico Supreme Court, in a water rights decision last month, poked the state’s legislative and executive branches with what amounted to a legal sharp stick for their failure to come to grips with the problem: “We urge our Legislature to be diligent in the exercise of its constitutional authority over – and responsibility for – the appropriation process. We equally urge the State Engineer to fulfill its superintending responsibility by applying priority administration for the protection of senior water users.”...more

Ranching Legacy: Bob Hanson – Cowboy, war hero, craftsman

In the river breaks about seven miles northwest of Bison, S.D., a boy was born Oct. 3, 1918. One of seven children born to Jim and Elsie Hanson, Bob grew up on the homestead, working alongside his family to make a living. Jim Hanson was a freighter and hauled supplies to Bison from Hettinger, N.D., and occasionally Lemmon, S.D., with a four up team of Percheron horses. Bob’s dad also had a custom harvesting outfit with a header pulled by six horses and two header boxes, also pulled by six horses apiece. Many of these good horses were sired by the Percheron stud that worked on the ranch, named Schnell’s Laddie. Young Bob, at eight or nine years of age, was put to work too. “I halter broke all the colts to stand tied at the hayrack all day unattended while the mares worked. We worked mostly mares,” said Bob, adding, “Those colts learned to stand patiently until we broke at noon to eat, then they got to nurse and be with the mare until she went back to work.” “Dad stood three stallions back then. A Thoroughbred, Percheron and Shetland. He bred the Thoroughbred stud to the Shetland mares and I broke them as a kid. My oldest brother Clarence “Bud” would ride them until they quit bucking then I took them and made kid ponies out of them,” explained Bob. “The Thoroughbred stud was tough but his colts were really good. They were just like the P.O.A. (Pony of Americas) and made great little horses.” “I rode and broke horses most of my life. I knew a lot of the old cowboys from the old days back then too. I knew Fred Jennewein from the Hat Ranch, Frank Beck and Dode Willey. I really admired those men,” said Hanson. “I went to country school and then went two years to Brookings ag school and learned blacksmithing, welding, carpentry and other trades,” explained Hanson. “I also rode racehorses for Nels Fogh from Prairie City (S.D.) and some others.” Like many young men of that era, World War II called and Hanson was 23 years old when he went in to the service in 1941. He was aptly placed in the 15th Horse Cavalry at Ft. Riley, Kan., where he rode and trained horses every day. Learning to hunt while growing up on the ranch paid off when he scored third out of 300 in pistol scores. He also went to three gunsmithing schools while in the army and had 87 contested fights in the boxing ring. In 1944, in Doslet, Brittany, France, the armored car he was in was hit by a 40 mm incendiary shell. The driver of the armored car was killed and the other men and Hanson were burned, plus Hanson was wounded by shrapnel. “It busted up my feet so bad and I didn’t think I could even walk, but when the artillery shells started going off, I ran like a squirrel,” recalled Hanson. “I couldn’t get away though, and the Germans caught me. A German aid man who was very good with burns went to work on me and probably saved my life.”...more

Song Of The Day #1076

One of my Uncle Archie's favorite songs was The Blacksmith Blues. Here it is by Elton Britt.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Missouri State Fair Commission bans clown who wore Obama mask

The rodeo clown who donned an Obama mask during a show at the Missouri State Fair over the weekend has been permanently banned from performer there ever again. In a statement released to the media Monday afternoon, the commission apologized again for the rodeo clown's actions and said they were inappropriate and not keeping with the fair's standards. The commission unanimously voted to ratify a decision by Missouri State Fair Director Mark Wolfe to ban the rodeo clown who wore the mask.  The clown was not identified. Albert S. Watkins, attorney for Mark Ficken, the rodeo announcer at the Missouri State Fair, said the clown went off script and was the one who made the controversial comments about the president...more

There is a video at the link provided and you can see my previous post and comments here.

Obama becomes bolder on the environment

President Obama's environmental policies are likely to play a prominent role in defining his second term, even as the budget, immigration, and health care still dominate the current political debate. When Gina McCarthy first met with Obama in the Oval Office on Jan. 10 to discuss the prospect of heading the Environmental Protection Agency, she recalled, "the first words out of his mouth was the need for EPA to focus on climate." "He sees this as a necessary part of his legacy," she said in a recent interview. Cutting carbon emissions and preparing for the impacts of climate change are the biggest environmental policies the president is pursuing, but not the only ones. His deputies are laying the groundwork to manage public lands across broad regions, drawing on high-tech mapping to balance energy interests against conservation needs. They are also preparing to weigh in on a controversial mining proposal in Alaska. In the administration's first term, it framed climate initiatives as ways to promote energy independence or cut consumer costs. It also made modest concessions to business interests, such as rejecting a controversial smog rule that would have affected a broad swath of industries and delaying other regulations. Agency heads have been given very different guideposts for the second term as Obama deputized a new team of Cabinet members to enact a series of rules and policies aimed at tackling global warming. In his chief of staff, Denis McDonough, Obama has a policy manager who has written and contributed to several pieces on climate change as a senior fellow at the liberal Center for American Progress think tank in 2006 and 2007. He is a sharp contrast to former Obama chiefs of staff William Daley and Rahm Emanuel, both of whom privately saw global warming as a political liability for the president.

His deputies are laying the groundwork to manage public lands across broad regions, drawing on high-tech mapping to balance energy interests against conservation needs.

Not sure, but that sounds like the Blueprint For Balance, which means more monuments. You can read about it here. And guess who is pushing this policy? The Center for American Progress, McDonough's former employer.

Rodeo clown at Missouri State Fair draws criticism for wearing Obama mask

This photo provided by Jameson Hsieh shows a clown wearing a mask intended to look like President Obama at the Missouri State Fair. The announcer asked the crowd if anyone wanted to see “Obama run down by a bull,” according to a spectator. “So then everybody screamed. ... They just went wild,” said Perry Beam, who attended the rodeo at the State Fair in Sedalia on Saturday Aug. 10, 2013. State Fair officials apologized calling the display inappropriate and disrespectful. (AP Photo/Jameson Hsieh)

A clown wearing a President Barack Obama mask appeared at a Missouri State Fair rodeo this weekend and the announcer asked the enthusiastic spectators if they wanted to see "Obama run down by a bull." The antics led the state's second highest-ranking official, Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder, to denounce the performance in a tweet Sunday. He said it was "disrespectful" to the president. "We are better than this," the Republican tweeted. State Fair officials said the show in Sedalia was "inappropriate" and "does not reflect the opinions or standards" of the fair. "We strive to be a family friendly event and regret that Saturday's rodeo badly missed that mark," they said in a statement Sunday. It wasn't clear if any action will be taken against the performers. Perry Beam, who was among the spectators, said "everybody screamed" and "just went wild" as the announcer talked about having the bull run down the clown with the Obama mask. "It was at that point I began to feel a sense of fear. It was that level of enthusiasm," Beam, a 48-year-old musician from Higginsville, said Sunday, referring to the reaction from the crowd that filled the fair's grandstand. He said another clown ran up to the one wearing the Obama mask, pretended to tickle him and played with the lips on the mask. About 15 minutes into the performance, the masked clown had to leave after a bull got too close, Beam said...more

 It wasn't clear if any action will be taken against the performers.

Think about that.  Criticize or make fun of the President and action may be taken against you.

Jay Leno does that, and no action is taken against him.  The Prez even recently made an appearance on his show.

Dennis Miller does that and no action against him is even proposed.

Yet a guy in cowboy boots does it and it becomes the AP "Big Story".  How come?

Beam, who grew up attending the State Fair and attends the fair just about every year, said he has never seen anything like the Obama mask display, which he felt was inappropriate for a state-sanctioned event that receives state funding. 

Yes, a "state-sanctioned event" brings out all the politicians and their silly political correctness, and rodeo is tangled up with government almost everywhere.

Consider this:  the NFR and the College NFR are held in public facilities.  State Fairs & County Fairs are held on or in public facilities.  How many rodeo arenas can you think of that are located on private property, where the events are privately managed with no public funds involved?  I'm not talking about roping arenas, but rodeo arenas.  How many could you name?  The only one I've competed in would be the Lazy E Arena in Oklahoma.  Otherwise, they were government owned.

That's why rodeo is so vulnerable to the animal rights crowd and now the political disease known as "PC".  Watch for it at an arena near you.

Montana man collects donations for wolf tags

A Montana man says he was able to collect 200 dollars in a matter of hours holding up a sign on the side of the road, but the generosity isn’t going to what you might think: The man’s collecting money for the wolf hunt. “We figure we would give hunters an incentive to get back out there and chase an animal that’s not going to fill your freezer,” said Jason Maxwell, who created a cardboard sign that reads “I have a job, but I am taking donations to buy hunters wolf tags.” Maxwell says he got the idea for the sign after reading that most hunters end up nabbing a wolf while they were out hunting for something else. After their second day of collecting funds, he says he and his girlfriend had about 200 dollars. “It shows that there are people out there who are after the same cause that we are,” said Maxwell. Maxwell says he and his girlfriend will sporadically collect donations until the wolf season kicks off in September. People can go to a face book page he set up, and “like” a specific post to be entered into a drawing to have a payment for a wolf tag reimbursed...more

Song Of The Day #1075

Let's get the week started with Onie Wheeler and his 1956 recording of Onie's Bop.

Sunday, August 11, 2013


It's a slow day in the small town of Pumphandle and the streets are deserted. Times are tough, everybody is in debt, and everybody is living on credit. A tourist visiting the area drives through town, stops at a motel, and lays a $100 bill on the desk saying he wants to inspect the rooms upstairs to pick one for the night. As soon as he walks upstairs, the motel owner grabs the bill and runs next door to pay his debt to the butcher. (Stay with this . . . and pay attention) The butcher takes the $100 and runs down the street to retire his debt to the pig farmer. The pig farmer takes the $100 and heads off to pay his bill to his supplier, the Co-op. The guy at the Co-op takes the $100 and runs to pay his debt to the local prostitute who has also been facing hard times and has had to offer her "services" on credit. The hooker rushes to the motel and pays off her room bill with the motel owner. The motel proprietor then places the $100 back on the counter so the traveler will not suspect anything. At that moment the traveler comes down the stairs, states that the rooms are not satisfactory, picks up the $100 bill and leaves. No one produced anything. No one earned anything. However, the whole town now thinks that they are out of debt and there is a false atmosphere of optimism and glee. And that, my friends, is how a "stimulus package" works!

Bill Clark, Reagan's Right Hand Man, Dies at 81

For those who knew William P. Clark the news of his death Saturday at age 81 was not only sad but also a reminder that so many of those who helped make Ronald Reagan president, and make his presidency historic, are gone.

Clark, who died after an eight-year battle with Parkinson's disease, had been deputy secretary of state, national security adviser, and secretary of the interior during the first term of the 40th president.

But these important positions failed to define the role Clark had with President Reagan -- his conduit with Pope John Paul II, Margaret Thatcher, and other world leaders in the winning of the Cold War.

As Reagan biographer Edmund Morris put it, "Clark had Reagan's ear and next to Reagan, was the most powerful man in the White House."

To meet and speak with him in later years, one would never suspect that this soft-spoken father of five had been one of the most powerful and influential men in Washington and previously Gov. Reagan's right-hand man in California.

Bill Clark was ever soft-spoken, and true to his Roman Catholic faith, a man of humility. He rarely gave interviews, wrote no tell-all book, or talked about himself. The only biography of the "the judge," as Clark was always known after Reagan put him on the state supreme court, was an admiring book co-authored by one of his daughters.

Although Clark never saw a Ronald Reagan movie and only a few episodes of Reagan as host of "GE Theatre" on television, the young lawyer from Ventura County became hooked on the actor after seeing him speak on behalf of Republican presidential candidate Barry Goldwater in 1964.

As his late wife Joan Clark recalled, "We turned to each other and said: 'This is it. This is the man.'" The couple promised that if ever Reagan himself ran for office, they would volunteer for him.

Two years later, Clark served as Reagan's campaign chairman in Ventura County. After his gubernatorial landslide election, Reagan tapped him to be cabinet secretary and the adviser who funneled policy details to the governor in the form of "mini-memos."

Most of the names who would be associated with Reagan as he moved from the governorship to the presidency -- Attorney General-to-be Ed Meese and future Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger -- were recruited to work for Gov. Reagan in Sacramento by Bill Clark.

In April 2006, Clark had come to Washington to attend the funerals of Weinberger and Lyn Nofziger, Reagan's onetime press secretary and political operative, who had died days apart from one another.

In discussing Weinberger, this reporter reminded him that his fellow Californian had once been a moderate Republican who backed Nelson Rockefeller for president against conservative hero Goldwater.

"That's right -- but Reagan and I converted him," replied Clark, recalling how they made Weinberger the California State Finance Director in the 1960s and he promptly slashed state spending enough to help turn an enormous state deficit into a surplus.

Clark also shared the genesis of Reagan's 1980 campaign promise to put the first woman on the Supreme Court, which he later honored as president by naming Sandra Day O'Connor.

Clark recalled how in 1971 Gov. Reagan had been suggesting to President Richard Nixon that he fill a Supreme Court vacancy with California Appeals Court Judge Mildred Lillie. She was a Democrat who had been appointed to the bench by Reagan's Democratic predecessor Gov. Pat Brown, but, in Clark's words, "she was a very conservative Democrat, a Jeffersonian Democrat, who disappointed state Democrats all the time. Reagan and I loved her."

Nixon was poised to make history by nominating Lillie to the high court, but finally backed down amid reports the American Bar Association would not give her its highest rating. Reagan felt bad about Judge Lillie not becoming the first woman justice, and a decade later, would in his own way make up for this "might have been."

In later years, Bill and Joan Clark devoted their energies to the maintenance of Chapel Hill, a Catholic chapel in the mountains above their hometown of Paso Robles, Calif.

Those who came for weddings, baptisms, or weekly Mass would sometimes spot Bill Clark in dungarees and plaid shirt, hosing down the walkway into the chapel.

"Don't mind me," he called out, "I'm just the janitor!"

That was Bill Clark -- a man of consequence, with a sense of humility and a good heart.

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax.